Originally, after Judah’s brain bleed, he was paralyzed on his entire left side. Movement has been returning more and more and God has been at work. As one therapist described Judah’s left side, “It’s as if it comes in and out of awareness.” Sometimes Judah would use his left hand, but often his arm would be tight by his side and his hand was in a fist, with his thumb stuck between his middle and ring finger. It has been a concern for a long time. We’ve tried a special brace to keep it open, kinesio tape, massage, essential oils…everything would work for a short time and only if we were very consistent (especially with the oils). Since starting Judah on Plexus Nerve Health Support his hand has been opening up and relaxing more and more – almost 100% of the time. We praise God!! He’s also saying more and more new words and a few times it has seemed as if he has tried to say 2 and 3 words sentences. Today he was being silly and threw his pacifier at me. He said, “Daddy! (babble, babble) at Mommy” and started laughing! He made it clear he was playing a game. :) :) His trying to form sentences is brand new! Thank you, Lord, for leading us to these amazing products!
Every so often I would catch a glimpse. It was only a brief moment. Sometimes during worship. Other times during prayer. Often, however, it came right in the midst of chaos as I’d frantically sprint through my daily duties of wiping bottoms, comforting tears, feeding babies, schooling big kids, cooking, cleaning, brushing, bathing…..
Dancing. Smiling. Arms wide open twirling and laughing and singing as I worshiped my Heavenly Father.
He was right there with me.
Smiling. Laughing. Loving….
…Last Fall, I was home alone with Judah and Malachi on a Wednesday evening while the rest of my family was at church. It wasn’t an easy night by any stretch of the imagination. Judah was crying in pain from gas in his tummy. Malachi was crying, wanting to be fed and held. I was crying throwing my own pity party wishing I was at church like everyone else. Wishing I could interact with people. Wishing I could serve in the church alongside my husband like I once did. Wishing we could be a “normal” family that could all attend church together without such a struggle. More than anything, wishing I could be in the presence of the Lord at the 7:30 prayer meeting…my favorite service.
I stepped away for a brief moment to grab a tissue and I cried out, “Lord!! When will I be free?!! This is too hard!! I can’t do this anymore!”
In my heart He gently whispered these words, “You don’t have to depend on seeing Judah’s complete healing to experience that kind of freedom.”
I stood motionless and processed those words, suddenly realizing I had inadvertently assumed that the joy and freedom I so desperately desired would only come if my circumstances were perfect. But that’s not how it works! The beauty of the victory we have in Christ is that we can experience joy and freedom despite our circumstances. When circumstances pound on us like a thunderstorm we can dance in the rain!
The Lord continued to work, using many things to bring me to that place of freedom. He led me to supplements my body desperately needed to restore balance to my hormones, thyroid, and adrenals.
And He spoke His word over my life and confirmed the vision I had seen by using my husband and a dear friend.
In December, while Chad was praying for me, the Lord gave him these words for me:
A few days passed before I heard from a friend, who knew nothing of my dream, who knew nothing of the word God spoke through Chad. She sent me this song that she had been singing over me: We Dance.
I look back to who I was just a short time ago and I hardly recognize myself. I had been bound by anxiety. Bound by flashbacks to Judah’s injury. Bound by fear. Bound with questions. I was constantly hurting inside over what happened to our life, to Judah’s life…
BUT GOD!!!!! Today, it is with thankfulness, grateful tears, and a heart full of joy and freedom that I can proclaim to you now -
My Father and I dance…
I twirl. He smiles.
Are my circumstances perfect? No. :) But He healed my heart. Sealed it with His love.
There are still some storms in our lives, but now I dance in the rain…
Psalm 30:11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
What a weekend!!!
Two weekends ago, our runner through I Run 4 Siblings flew in from Rhode Island to surprise my children.
I remember driving to the airport that Friday afternoon thinking that this was either the most amazing thing I’ve ever done, or the craziest! After all, who invites a complete stranger into their home to spend the weekend with their children? The Deareys! That’s who!
Brooke didn’t feel like a stranger. For months we’ve been in contact through Facebook. We immediately had a connection and it’s been an easy adventure. She’s posted pictures and videos for my children to see. She’s honored them for the sacrifice they’ve made for their brother, Judah. And my children have enjoyed writing back to her as well. But to have her here in person felt completely surreal. Days later, it’s still soaking in.
Our weekend was precious. The kids seemed to do a million things with “Ms. Brooke” – they played games, bounced on the trampoline, read stories, played basketball, went swimming. It was non-stop action here at our home. :)
That Saturday she ran the half marathon at Holloway Park here in town. Before crossing the finish line she grabbed my children by the hand so they could cross with her. It’s a moment I will NEVER forget!!
Brooke may have arrived as a stranger, but she left as family. We love you, Mrs. Brooke! Thank you for impacting our family in such a profound way!
Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
I’m no stranger to postpartum blues. It’s the hardest part of having babies. I love being pregnant, and I don’t mind labor/delivery; but I really struggle during the postpartum period.
Malachi’s postpartum period was no exception.
3 months ago I was dealing with major waves of depression. It wasn’t all the time, but in waves. High highs and really low lows. I was also struggling with PTSD flashbacks, anxiety attacks, hormone imbalance, adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism. I was already taking many supplements, using essential oils and B12 shots so I really didn’t know what else to do except see a doctor and start on a medication, which I really wanted to avoid if possible.
As a last ditch effort, I ordered Plexus Slim. I figured I had nothing to lose. Chad asked me what would be cheaper – to see a doctor and start on medication or to order Slim. Slim won. :) I was thankful it is all natural and sweetened with Stevia. I loved the taste. And within a short amount of time I LOVED the difference I felt!
Listed below are the results I had within 2 months of using Plexus Slim:
* I lost my baby weight!
* My blood sugar stabilized. Usually I’d feel shaky around 10:00am and 3:00 in the afternoon. My thinking was foggy. I felt anxious. My adrenals were wiped out. But now I drink Slim a little bit after breakfast and I am able to function with clarity through the rest of the day.
* No more mood swings! No more high highs and low lows. If I encounter something difficult I no longer spiral into depression and struggle to get back up. I’m able to face it with mental clarity and overcome it. This is a huge victory for me!
* I cannot remember my last panic attack or fit of anxiety. Praise the Lord!! I used to have the oddest panic attacks and they’d come out of nowhere. One night while my family was asleep I woke up in anxiety thinking “what if a car runs off the road and into my girls’ bedroom. I have to move Addie’s bed so she’s safe” Ridiculous!!! But I was shaking in fear! I haven’t had any random attacks of fear like this.
* Postpartum “blues” – GONE!
* PTSD flashbacks – GONE!!! I recently came across some of Judah’s old belongings that would have been triggers for me two months ago. But I felt joy and good memories when I found them. No trigger. No flashback. No tears! I cannot express how thankful I am!
* No more sugar cravings!!!
* Malachi is healthier. He used to spit up after every meal. LOTS! I’d change his outfit multiple times a day. Not any more! No more outfit changes. His tummy seems to feel so much better.
Chad and I are completely shocked at the difference we’ve seen in my hormones, my thyroid, and my emotional stability. It’s truly been an answer to prayer! When you’ve struggled for years and then find your health and freedom again it gives an instant passion and burning desire to help others experience the same thing. I tear up remembering that just a few months ago the sound of a baby crying gave me flashbacks to Judah crying as the nurses tried to get his IV set before surgery. Changing Malachi on the changing table brought flashbacks to changing Judah as a baby and wondering if he could see me, longing for him to make eye contact. The smell of hand sanitizer gave me flashbacks to the PICU. Feeding Malachi, flashbacks to feeding Judah and feeling his shunt on my arm. I’m telling you! I was not walking in freedom! My body needed help. Do I fully understand this pink drink yet? Nope!! I have lots to learn. But my heart is extremely grateful!!! And now to be able to help others regain their health as well is such a joy! (And hey, if we shed a few pounds in the process that will be an added bonus)
If you are struggling with any of these same symptoms, or are interested in a natural way to lose weight, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to help you!
Love you all!!
As you can see by the lack of posts on the blog, the past 6 months since Malachi’s arrival have been extremely busy. :) Chad and I both came to the realization that we were totally experiencing Caregiver Burnout and needed to find help. We weren’t sure what kind of help we needed or what it would look like, but we began praying God would send it. We especially desired help on Sundays and Wednesdays so we could attend church together. In the past month two precious ladies have offered to help us. One offered to push Judah in his stroller on Sunday mornings so Chad and I can be together in the service. Another, who doesn’t even attend our church, offered to do the same thing on Wednesday evenings so I can come to church and attend the prayer meetings (I’ve only been able to attend 2 Wednesday night services in the past 6 months). It’s extremely out of my comfort zone to accept help like this; but at the same time it ministers to my heart and has been such a beautiful expression of God’s love to us. :) Thank you, Father, for hearing and answering our prayers. And thank you, dear friends, for the many ways you all have been the hands and feet of Jesus to our family. We are grateful!
And in case I’m not back on this blog before the end of the year, the Dearey family wishes you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!
“Lord, I LOVE him! I absolutely LOVE him!! I recognize that others may see an imperfect shell and see ‘disabilities’ but I don’t care about any of it. I just love him. I don’t need him to be perfect in order for me to feel love towards him. I really really love him…so much!”
…and in the quietness of my heart the Lord whispered back…
“And I LOVE YOU! I don’t need you to be perfect. I don’t see your disabilities. There’s nothing you can change to affect how much I love you. I just really really love you!”
“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.” I John 3:1
Dearey children, you are the most precious gifts ever given to me. When I was a girl, a teenager, a young adult dreaming about my future I never could have dreamt I’d have children as amazing as you….and certainly didn’t know I’d be blessed with so many. ;) You are more than I ever desired or hoped for! I know that God didn’t go out of His way to bring your mom and dad together from Minnesota and Washington just to give us a great marriage, but because he had seven children in mind that were destined to be born for such a time as this. The callings on your lives are great! His plans far exceed your expectations!
2.5 years ago our lives sure changed, didn’t they? Our family dynamics changed. Our relationships changed. Our faith was tested. Our priorities shifted. Today I want you to know that no matter how busy I may be or how crazy life may get, I see you…
I saw you when Judah was in the hospital. I saw your confusion. I heard your questions. And I appreciated your patience to let Mommy and Daddy wait until the right time to give you details.
I see you lay hands on Judah and speak healing over his body. I see you lay hands on his blanket, turning it into a prayer cloth. My heart swells with pride.
I see you coming out of your room at night asking to share your heart. We need that one-on-one time, sometimes, don’t we? It’s important you continue to share and ask questions.
I see your tears when you see other children Judah’s age and realize how much Judah needs to learn to “catch up.”
I see your servant hearts when you help us with Judah’s therapy, hyperbaric dives, feeding Judah, and filling his diaper bag for outings. I’m so thankful for your help!
I see you in church asking others for agreement in prayer for Judah’s complete healing.
I see your concern that something may happen to Malachi. He’ll be healthy and strong. No need to fear – trust the Lord! Malachi is a restoration gift from heaven.
I see you worship. I see you studying the Word. I see you praying. I know God is strengthening you.
I see you enjoying your brother…laughing when he’s silly, teaching him new words, snuggling him when he’s sleepy.
I see your tears when daddy or I leave for a weekend away in Gainesville. Our home isn’t the same when any of us are away.
I see you run Judah’s stinky diapers out for me with a happy attitude. You’ve never complained. :)
I see your sadness and frustration when it’s harder for us to plan outings, or field trips, or play dates because of Judah’s needs. I miss how easy it used to be to go out for lunch after church, or spend an afternoon at a park. We’ll be able to do all these things again soon. It’ll get easier.
I see you stay calm when mom and dad feel frazzled. You’ve forgiven us each of the many times we’ve asked for forgiveness for losing our patience and peace.
I see you out of the corner of my eye, listening and observing as Mommy shares her heart and sometimes tears with close friends and mentors…thank you for not interrupting. Mommy is getting stronger. I promise. :)
And kids, not only does Mommy see you and Daddy see you; but your heavenly Father sure sees you. He reminded me of this at our recent fundraiser. Each of you asked if you could participate in the raffle. I was hesitant at first, but then felt that it was important for you to feel a part of the special night. I was absolutely astonished when I saw each of you win the exact item you had your heart set on. All evening I pondered the fact that not only did God remind your Daddy and I that He sees us, He sees Judah, He sees our needs…but He definitely sees each of you as well and He blessed you with the desires of your heart that evening. I know He is so proud of each of you. You have already stored many treasures in heaven. :)
Josiah, Isaac, Ellianna, Rhema, Adonai, Judah and little Malachi in my tummy… I love you! It’s an honor to be your Mom!
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3
Our hearts are so overwhelmed with thankfulness for all of you who made Judah’s BBQ FUNdraiser possible!
Friday night was so special to our entire family!
We feel honored by the number of people that arrived to support our little Judah. What a wonderful treat to spend an evening chatting and playing with so many friends.
Planning a fundraiser for my own child is something that 10 years ago I never would have pictured would be in my future. It’s completely out of my comfort zone and a very humbling experience. Robin, Tracy, and Judy there is no way I could have planned this fundraiser alone. I’m in awe of the way you took my small idea of a family bbq picnic and created something big and exciting. All-Stars 4-H – YOU ARE AWESOME! They helped prepare ahead of time, helped set-up, helped serve, and helped clean-up. One of the families sold and delivered “to-go” meals to their neighbors – if I remember correctly it was close to 30 meals they delivered!
And to all of you who volunteered your time, donated raffle items, and donated food and other necessities – THANK YOU! This was not possible without you!
Because of the donations that came in we are able to continue needed therapies for Judah. The money from Judah’s account covers many things for Judah. Here are a few examples.
* Anat Baniel Method – we are so thankful we found Josie Davenport in Gainesville, FL. It wasn’t until we began visits with her that Judah began showing much interest in movement. When we are consistent in our monthly visits we see the most results. The difficulty has come in being consistent. The cost is simply too high for us to pay out of pocket. Our goal is 5 days each month. That cost is therapy is $600 plus gas, hotel and food.
* Ophthalmology – The best way to monitor whether Judah’s shunt is working is to check his optic nerves on a yearly basis. We were referred to a great doctor, but he is not covered by our insurance.
* Optometry – Judah’s vision is checked every 6 months at a wonderful clinic in Tampa. Their practice is not covered by insurance. Nor the cost of glasses and replacement lenses.
* Pediatrician – Our favorite pediatrician is also in Tampa and not covered by insurance. He’s been a tremendous encouragement to us. First, he explored deeper into what may have caused the brain bleed instead of focusing his attention only on what may have prevented it. Through genetic testing he did find Judah has a double chromosome linked to bleeds. He also started Judah on nutritional supplements, b12 shots, and BIGGEST OF ALL -the hyperbaric chamber!! We LOVE our hyperbaric chamber!
On a more personal level this doctor’s son also had a brain bleed as an infant. Because of that he’s able to relate to us differently and is understanding of my emotional moments. :) We’ve only been able to visit him a few times as the cost is over $300 a visit. But we are excited to see him again soon, hopefully before little Malachi arrives. :)
Because of your generosity $2,472 was given Friday evening at the event. More donations came during the weekend bringing the grand total to $2822!!! Wow! We are in awe!!
Thank you! From the bottom of our hearts! THANK YOU!
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
What started as a small idea for a family BBQ picnic fundraiser has turned into so much more, thanks to precious friends who have given or their time and energy to make this event a success!
Addie woke up this morning and asked in excitement, “Is it tomorrow??” YES!!!! Which means TODAY IS THE DAY!
Come join us at 9434 Tom Moore Road, Lakeland, FL 33810!! We’ll be there from 4:00-8:00 (The time has been extended!!!)
LOTS of awesome raffles! Cakes and desserts! Kids bicycles! Family Pass to Skate World! $25 to J. Burn’s Pizza! Thirty-one bags! Photography sessions! Mary Kay! And lots more!
3 big bounce houses for the big kids plus a smaller one for the “littles.” Hay ride, train ride, face painting, photo booth and fun games.
oh!! And LOTS of YUMMY FOOD!!!!
All proceeds go to Judah’s therapy fund which covers what can add up to $1000/month in costs for therapies and specialists. If you are unable to attend but desire donating towards Judah’s Journey click “Make a Donation” on the right hand side. We love you all! We have been absolutely blown away by your generosity and kindness!!
See you tonight!
Exciting news!! Judah’s story is being used to help inform other parents on the importance of vitamin K! It’s now on the CDC’s website. Check it out!
….Whoa!! Wait a minute!!! Did I just share a CDC website??!
If you know me at all you know I love a good ol’ fashion natural remedy. I love herbs. I love vitamins. I love essential oils. I love chiropractic care and massage therapists and holistic doctors and midwives and home birthing.
I think it’s so cool that I can give arnica (a homeopathic remedy) to my kids after they fall down or bonk themselves and they don’t experience much bruising or swelling. I love applying RC (a Young Living essential oil) to my kids and seeing them breathe better and stop coughing. I love that I can increase calcium and magnesium and drink some coconut water for potassium and the charley horses I experience at night during pregnancy go away! I mean, really! How cool is God that He made all of this available to us?!
But guess what else I now love?! Balance! It’s true, this once hard-core, all natural, home birthing mama is finding balance.
Two and a half years ago, in a matter of minutes, I was launched from an all natural world to a world swarming with medical doctors, hospitals, therapists, specialists and medicine. Whoa! What a complete shock! There was no time to resist the change. I jumped in. I was determined to no longer question the doctors or their advice. Just obey.
But I later realized that I, personally, could not jump from one extreme to the other extreme. I could not jump from all natural home births to fully medicated hospital births (unless under the leading of the Lord or found medically necessary). I could not abandon natural remedies to restock my medicine cabinet with only over-the-counter medicine. There had to be a balance. I could not put 100% blind faith into doctors alone.
Why? Because the medical field is made up of imperfect humans just like myself. Doctors make mistakes too. There isn’t one perfect route to health. There must be balance. For example, after Judah was released from his initial stay in the hospital I noticed that his head circumference was growing rapidly. I began reading about hydrocephalus, measuring Judah’s head, and looking at pictures of other children who had hydrocephalus. I approached four of Judah’s doctors and pointed out how fast Judah’s head had grown. They dismissed my concerns. We called our pediatric neurosurgeon directly and told her how large Judah’s head was. She insisted we not measure his head again since we had not been taught the proper way to do so. She told us we were overly concerned and that we needed to relax and just wait to see her at our next visit. That appointment was not until Judah was three months old.
The moment the surgeon walked into our room at that three-month check-up she instantly knew we had a problem. She sent us downstairs for an MRI, and quickly began the process of figuring out how to schedule Judah for an emergency shunt surgery the very next morning.
A year later, one of Judah’s doctors showed me the MRI’s and pointed out the difference in brain damage from Judah’s initial bleed and from the hydrocephalus. In those 2.5 months of being dismissed by doctors as an overly concerned parent the pressure of built-up fluid on Judah’s brain caused further damage. I was devastated to see the difference and know it could have been avoided.
So now what? Clearly neither side of the fence is perfect, so where do I take it from here? My first step: Forgive and forget the past, and keep my eyes fixed forward. I can’t afford to look back at my mistake or the mistakes of the doctors. Would you know that since sharing publicly of the guilt I struggled with over not administering the vitamin K shot that I have not had one struggle with that guilt ever since??? Praise God! :) And just as my mistake was unintentional I know the doctors’ mistakes were also unintentional. God’s bigger than all of it!
Second step: Pray and find balance. As I move forward I see my need for more wisdom and more prayer surrounding every decision made about the health of my family. I can’t put God in a box. He is not limited to only one way of bringing healing. I have experienced supernatural healing in my body that came instantly in a prayer service. I have witnessed God using a team of medical doctors to save my son’s life. And I have used natural remedies successfully for a number of years……Balance…I am finding that balance…I’m so very appreciative of the doctors and therapists and midwives who have patiently walked with me as I ask questions, seek understanding, and, at times, take some extended time to seek the Lord before jumping in. They’ve recognized that this is a new season for me and I’m thankful for their grace.
And I’m thankful for your grace as well. The way you all have responded to me as I share this journey with you has been a tremendous blessing and encouragement to me. Thank you! :)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7